Sanders pushes to expand Medicare: 5 things to know


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for expanded Medicare eligibility and changes to prescription drug policy to be added to Democrats' next large bill, according to Politico.

Five things to know:

1. Mr. Sanders is calling for Medicare's eligibility age to be lowered from 65 to 55 or 60 years old, according to the report. President Joe Biden has called for similar proposals.

2. Mr. Sanders also wants to expand Medicare to cover dental care, hearing aids, glasses and eye surgeries. 

3. To pay for the expansion, Mr. Sanders wants to use cost savings from negotiations Medicare would have with pharmaceutical companies, according to the report. He estimated the cost savings generated would be about $450 billion over 10 years. President Biden called for similar negotiations in his healthcare plan.

4. The changes could be included in a large infrastructure bill Democrats are working on, according to Politico

5. Republicans generally oppose expanding government entitlement programs like Medicare. However, hospitals could be more likely to derail efforts to expand Medicare, as they could face lower reimbursement if more commercial health plan members move to Medicare, according to NPR.

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